- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (AP) - The state marine laboratory at Dauphin Island is expanding.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab has started work on a new research center for the Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

Network director Ruth Carmichael says Alabama has historically had a lack of resources to deal with stranded marine animals including whales, dolphins and manatees.

She says the new lab will help researchers answer questions about what causes strandings and deaths of marine mammals on the Alabama coast.

The Alabama Marine Mammal Stranding Network began in 2011. Since then it has responded to 126 strandings to gather information about what kills marine mammals.

The new center is supposed to open mid-2015.

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